Outstanding RE is now acknowledged, celebrated and publicised.
What is the RE Quality Mark?
The REQM recognises high quality RE, particularly those schools which are providing their learners with authentic experiences and contributing to whole school outcomes.
RE makes a powerful contribution to young people’s learning. It provides them with the chance to explore the big ideas of religion and belief and to think about what matters in their own lives.
Good RE supports the development of the whole child. It also has a significant contribution to make to whole school improvement. With the renewed focus from Ofsted on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development for all pupils, it is more important than ever that RE is recognised and celebrated.
The RE Quality Mark has two purposes: it recognises good practice in RE and also provides a powerful tool for development. Schools which have applied for the award have found that it affirms the work they are already doing, raises the profile of the subject and gives them ideas and confidence for developing their practice even further.
Why have an RE Quality Mark?
It’s the chance to celebrate great RE. We know that when it is well done, learners engage with the big ideas about being human. They get the chance to explore their own and others’ beliefs, their values and ways of living which are important to them.
The REQM has been set up to:
raise the profile of religious education in schools
celebrate a commitment to excellence in religious education
enable dissemination of quality RE through networking
provide a framework for measuring, planning and developing the quality of RE teaching and learning
encourage schools to increase the range and quality of teaching and learning in religious education to improve standards
develop pedagogies which have impact on whole school improvement
provide a structure and framework for dioceses and SACREs to map high quality religious education
address the findings of Transforming RE relating to enquiry based learning
The criteria and exemplar evidence in the REQM School Evidence Form will help you to determine the award level you meet. These criteria are divided into four sections:
The assessor will also talk through the evidence with you and will discuss with a member of the senior leadership team the extent to which RE is supported in the school. We suggest that you highlight those criteria which you think you meet and give brief examples of how you meet them.
During the meeting, the assessor will make notes about how secure the evidence is on the school evidence form. At the end of the visit, the assessor will usually be able to tell you the level they will be recommending for the award. This will be confirmed by the REQM Administrator who will arrange for a certificate to be sent to the school.
A key part of the evidence is what your learners say about RE. You need to survey the views of young people in your setting, using one of the learner questionnaires. The assessor will spend time speaking to a range of pupils in school.
The assessor will spend time speaking to a range people in your school from pupils to SLT.
The assessor will also talk through the evidence with you and will discuss with a member of the senior leadership team the extent to which RE is supported in the school.
Use the criteria and exemplar evidence in the REQM school evidence form to help you to determine the award level you meet.
Please Note: We will need to know if your school requires a Welsh speaking assessor for the visit. Please include this request in an emai to the REQM office.
There is occasionally grant funding available for eligible schools to partially or fully cover the cost of the RE Quality Mark assessment thanks to generous support from charitable trusts. We are grateful to contributors for helping schools to meet these costs. Any current grant opportunities will be listed below.
There are no grants available at the moment through the REC (June 2020). Schools are encouraged to contact their local RE Trust if there is one available, or their local SACRE for advice about individual applications and support
What do people say?
The REQM made us realise the importance of the role we can play in the local community, both in terms of developing dialogue and promoting the value of RE. These are all things we have done in the past, but the REQM served as a timely reminder that these aspects of an excellent RE department also ultimately result in an improved experience for our pupils.
Gold award winning school
There were a number of good ideas which challenged us, e.g. the idea of pupils planning lessons. Although our pupils have always been involved in our planning and our schemes of work contained many of their suggestions, e.g. using film clips and music, we have never formally asked pupils to plan lessons before. We asked a class of Year 10 pupils to plan lessons on Christmas for Year 7 pupils and they also delivered a small part of the lessons. This was a very rewarding experience for all concerned and we added new lessons to our scheme of work as a result. We will continue to develop this idea.
Gold award winning school
RE is spectacular here because religion causes wars, but here we see peace and just like to learn.
Year 5 pupil
My favourite thing about RE is the fact that we as a class can learn in an unbiased environment, where everyone’s opinion counts as equal. We learn about different beliefs a lot. This is very interesting because these beliefs can help us understand our environment.
I think RE is a good and helpful way to understand what other people believe and respect.
We all enjoy class discussions and questions in RE lessons, and it is useful that someone always finds a ‘but…’ in each discussion.